Mayor Ottens called the Public Hearing to order at 5:30 pm and directed the Deputy Clerk, Tammy Garibay, to call the roll. On roll call, Aldermen, Keith King, Paul Banker, Barbara Mask, Sue VanKampen, Dan Nederhoff, Margaret Crosthwaite, Gene Field were present, Alderman Mike Van Zuiden was absent.
Also in attendance were City Attorney Bill Shirk, Staff Members – Randy Boonstra, Dan Clark, Dave Bartels, Aaron Fullan, City Treasurer Amanda Fosdick and Sgt. Dwayne Hamilton. John Rohlf represented the Media.
Mr. Zach Ratcliff, a member of the community was also in attendance.
Mayor Ottens opened the hearing and asked interested parties to express their views on the proposed Downstate Small Business Stabilization application funded by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Persons with disabilities or non-English speaking persons were encouraged to contact City Administrator Boonstra no later than June 19, 2020 if accommodations needed to be arranged. There were no requests.
Mayor Ottens said that on or about July 3, 2020, the City of Fulton intends to apply to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a grant from the State CDBG program. This program is funded by Title 1 of the Federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended. These funds are to be used to provide working capital for the benefit of Denny O’s and Krumpets, both downtown businesses located in the City of Fulton. The total amount of funds to be requested is $50,000, divided into $25,000 per business and will address the urgent needs of the business due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Information related to this application was available for review prior to the public hearing as of June 12, 2020 at the Fulton City Hall during business hours. Interested citizens were invited to provide comments regarding these issues at this public hearing or in a written request submitted to the City Administrator.
Alderman Mask was curious on what organization was actually funding this grant. CA Boonstra stated that, actually DCEO was administering the grants, but the actually funds were coming from the Federal Housing Development (HUD). The state diverted the Federal Funding monies to this program and made it possible for businesses to apply for these grants. The State therefore asked DCEO to administer it.
Alderman Mask asked what the businesses could use these funds for and CA Boonstra stated that they could be used for payroll, inventory, supplies, rent and mortgage. Unlike most grants, that are only available to low and medium income businesses, this grant was available to all that had been effected by the COVID-19 emergency.
CA Boonstra stated that because this is a Block Grant, the City has to apply for the businesses. DCE0 will then award the grants and the funds will be given to the City, and the City will pass on the money to the awarded grantees. After 6 months, the businesses will have to provide receipts to the city to prove that the monies were used properly. After the 6 month audit by the State the City will close out the grant within the year. This does require a considerable amount of time and effort made directly by the City as far as administration.
Alderman Mask asked if these were the only 2 businesses to apply. CA Boonstra reiterated that the Ensinger’s, owners of Johnnie’s Tap will be applying in the near future. There were three other businesses that did inquire but did not continue to pursue the application.
After the approval from DCEO, it will still be approximately a 2-3 month waiting period before funds are available. City Administrator Boonstra asked that we still support local shops, bars and restaurants as much as possible, it has been a tough road for them.
CA Boonstra did say that businesses who may still apply, must have at least one employee on their books and have been established in business no less than three years.
CA Boonstra said that area cities and towns have all had applications. Dixon with over 70 and Sterling, Rock Falls with 50.
With no further discussion, Mayor Ottens asked that the Public Hearing be adjourned at 5:40 pm, and enter into the Regular Council Meeting. Roll call vote for adjournment – 7 yes, 0 no, 1 absent.
Tammy L Garibay
Deputy Clerk – City of Fulton